In England from 1558 to 1829, Catholics were not permitted to practice their faith openly. The message of the song's gifts were to help children remember lessons of their faith. The true love mentioned in the song is God Himself, the 'me' is every baptised person. The partridge is one of those birds who feigns injury to decoy predators away from her helpless nestlings - this symbolises Christ.
- Two turtledoves - the Old and New Testaments
- Three french hens - Faith Hope and Charity
- Four calling birds - the four Gospels
- Five golden rings - the first five books of the Old Testament containing the history of man's fall from grace
- Six geese a-laying - the six days of Creation
- Seven swans a-swimming - seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Eight maids a-milking - the eight Beatitudes
- Nine ladies dancing - nine choirs of Angels
- Ten lords a-leaping - the ten Commandments
- Eleven piper's piping - the eleven faithful Apostles
- Twelve drummers drumming - the twelve points of belief in the Apostle's Creed.
ARen't these cool? i'd never heard of them before until now. Tell me what you think!